|Fetching bundles of bark (I think.... I'm not sure what these are used for)|
The best known and most visited is probably the "floating" market at Ywama, which can be very touristy. But many of the others can be an opportunity to see hints of a traditional way of life, as the villages from the various hill tribes come down to the markets to sell their produce, and buy goods in turn.
|Not a tourist in sight!|
The market at InDein (also known as Inthein) is apparently quite firmly wedged on the tourist trail in high season. But in low season? That's a whole other kettle of fish.
|A whole other kettle of fish|
We hired a boat to take us out to InDein, arriving at 9:30, as the market was beginning to wind down. The approach to the main market from the boat landing doesn't bode well - it's lined with souvenir stalls and "art" shops. But two minutes later, you reach the main square and the real market action begins.
Masses of vegetables and fruit. Dried fish and scrawny headless chickens. Cheap clothes and farm implements. Vendors selling samosas, fried doughballs, and huge vats of bubbling soup over massive charcoal braziers, the smoke searing your eyeballs as you walk past. Local villagers in bright tribal headscarves and red woolen sashes haggling. Almost no other tourists. This is a market!
|Hot work feeding a hungry crowd of market-goers|
|Fresh vegetables from the hills around InDein|